Pride month is here! It is an entire month dedicated to the uplifting of LGBTQ voices, celebration of LGBTQ culture and the support of LGBTQ rights. It also calls for people to remember how damaging homophobia was and still can be. Pride is all about being proud of who you are no matter who you love.
Here are some local organizations who mobilize the community and address LGBTQ+ needs that you can support.
Metro Manila Pride is one of the biggest LGBTQ+ organizations in the country. It is a volunteer-managed, non-partisan, not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating, equipping and empowering the Filipino LGBTQIA+ and their communities to work towards a future that recognizes and respects the rights of LGBTQIA+ persons to a dignified life without discrimination and prejudice.
As said by Rainbow Rights Philippines (RRights), “To Resist Together means pushing for equality and anti-discrimination despite delay in and lack of legislation. It means persistence despite prejudice and impunity.”
RRights, a non-profit organization founded in 2005, puts focus on the laws and policies catered to the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. They aim to create an environment that upholds human rights and equal access to opportunities to individuals of diverse SOGIE. They do this through legislative and policy work, capacity building, and research and publication.
GALANG was first established by a small group of lesbian friends when conversations turned to meetings on what can actually be done to advance the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Over 27 million Filipinos survive on less than $1 per day. With that in mind, this organization particularly focuses on the relationship between sexuality and poverty. GALANG aims to provide a space to mobilize vulnerable sectors in the country. Staying true to the word galang, they seek to eradicate the discrimination, violence, and abuse experienced by the LGBTQ+ community.
As articulated by Metro Manila Pride, “Pride is community. Pride is rooted in protest. It means “Fight back”. Pride is solidarity in action.” To resist together is to be united in the pursuit to cultivate an inclusive community.
Established in 1992, UP Babaylan is the first LGBTQ+ student organization in the country. They aim to foster a safe community and provide support to LGBT students across several campuses of the University of the Philippines. UP Babaylan hosts projects and campaigns such as UP Pride, the Philippine Anti-Discrimination Bill, World AIDS Campaign, and the LGBT Legal Aid Office, to name a few. Through their conferences and workshops, UP Babaylan aims to facilitate conversations on the experiences and adversities the LGBTQ+ community goes through.Love Yourself was founded by youth advocate Ronivin Garcia Pagtakhan, with help from his friends who were “inspired by the increasing demand and queries by the Youth & LGBT-MSM (males who have sex with males) through social media such as Twitter on STI, HIV, sexuality and gender.”
Focusing on self-worth as the key to an empowered community, their aim is to become “a model community of MSM and friends who empower and affirm the self-worth of youth and MSM in the Philippines”
The group offers HIV counseling, testing, treatment and life-coaching for MSM and the youth.